The RaMBa”M (Maimonides) said; Ma’aseh avot siman lebanim…the actions of our forefathers are symbols/models for their descendants to follow. Such is certainly the case for the women who make up Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights.
Baila Olidort, editor of Wellsprings Magazine & Lubavitch.com, did a superb job hosting the evening and sharing her personal account of how helped her mother during her illness. The matriarchs of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim had labored with Herculean effort –short staffed, under-funded, and as low-tech as imaginable. Women like Mrs. Ita Lustig –the Honoree, Tzippora Clapman and a host of others got the job done through persistence, a love of chesed, wearing out their shoe-leather, speed dialing the old fashioned way; catching neighbors at simchas, by chance or design to get the necessary funding and aid required for the community’s Bikur Cholim.
What was heartening to see was the enthusiasm, arduous commitment, talent, and passionate fresh young talent of the new generation that took up the torch of chesed – infusing new blood and koiches into attending the growing needs of their community. When the Olidorts called, they mobilized; creating rides, services, and revitalizing the organization to meet the needs of not only this family but the community at large. Kol Hakavod to Bikur Cholim’s administrators: Grunie Grossman, Ruthie Kirschenbaum, Esther Blau and to the staff of the Services department: Esther Lebovic, Naomi Pinson, Esther Blum, Rivkah Krinsky, Chanah Pinson., for all their hard work on behalf of Bikur Cholim and in making the Summer Fete Evening the great success it was.
Kudos to Marcia Bodenstein, CEO of Start Fresh Weight Control Program for her “SNAP” summary of what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.
Levana Kirschenbaum, renowned chef, author and cooking instructor demonstrated her quick-easy-wholesome whole food philosophy & techniques, preparing a sampling of the fabulous dinner later served to all the guests in attendance: miso soup, salad, maple roasted salmon with spanish couscous, and chocolate espresso mousse along with her award-winning carrot cake. She makes it looks soooooo easy as she efficiently tosses the fresh ingredients into her food processor and bowls. The woman is a culinary master magician. Chick chock it was all done and healthy, delicious and fabulous. Judging from the way the food disappeared, the guests were more than delighted with the outcome.
Everything tasted spectacular; it’s hard to pick a favorite. I’d just serve up the whole menu if I were preparing for a large group. I’ve included, with permission, Levana’s Maple-Roasted Salmon. Enjoy! Enjoy!
As several women said during the course of the evening, in the future may we only need Bikur Cholim services to attend to kimpeturen (women of childbirth). May all our readers and Klal Yisroel be healthy & happy, giving generously of their time and efforts for those less fortunate.
Maple Roasted Salmon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cracked pepper, or less to taste
1 whole side salmon, about 3 1/2 pounds, skin off, bones out.
Mix all but the last ingredient in a bowl. Place the salmon skin side up in a baking pan just large enough to fit it snuggly in one layer. Pour the sauce evenly over the fish. Bake 18 minutes to 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour the cooking juices over. Serve hot, or at room temperature.